Despite having lived in Klang Valley for some 2 decades now.. the lure of proper Penang hawker dishes is always something that I can’t escape from. Over the years I’ve found quite a good selection of decent Penang style hawker dishes this part of the country, but they’re not “even”, some dishes are harder to find than others.
One such trickier dish is Penang style Loh Mee, which is distinctly different from the KL version, and I’m happy to add one to the list, with this candidate from Restoran Weng Soon in Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam.
Weng Soon Kopitiam, Taman Sri Muda, Shah Alam
Before we start, the difference between KL loh mee & Penang loh mee, while can be difficult to spot with a single glance, is actually quite substantial.
The KL loh mee uses a much thicker version of noodle, often without option for meehun. Additionally, the KL version will spot a very different type of chili paste, if provided at all. Bean sprout & fried shallots are also only available in the dish from North.
Back to Weng Soon (or Weng Soon Tek) kopitiam in Taman Sri Muda. I was introduced to this spot by one of my Instagram connections who has been frequenting it for years.
The restaurant is a pretty unassuming kopitiam not unlike any other, perhaps only with the number of slseepy cats & dogs. The stall itself serves both prawn mee and loh mee, owned by a guy from Penang with a helper.
Penang style Prawn Mee & Loh Mee
What you get here is a very “average” bowl of Penang style loh mee or prawn mee, if you’re in Penang. Translation – since we’re in Klang Valley, that makes it a very good find and one that satisfy my cravings properly. The important ingredients are all there – prawns, mee, meehun, pork slices, 1/4 hard boiled egg, fried shallots, bean sprouts. The loh mee also comes with vinegar + finely chopped raw garlic.
To be fair, the sambal could use a bit of improvement, but I’m nitpicking. I’m going back to have more.
Penang hokkien mee, or prawn mee as it is usually called here in Klang Valley, is one of the more iconic dishes from the island known for its good hawker food. While prawn mee is quite available this part of the country, its sister dish – loh mee, is quite a bit trickier to find.
Do Re Mi 123 kopitiam and it’s Loh Mee stall
Hence, whenever I find a hawker stall offering Penang loh mee, I’d usually give it a try. This same opportunity presented itself when I was at Do Re Mi 123 kopitiam looking to have kuih teow soup a few weeks ago, forgetting that it moved to nearby Hock Seng kopitiam.
As per my usual style, I ordered using Penang Hokkien, and the operator seemed to understand, passing my pseudo authenticity check.
Penang loh mee with appropriate condiments
Luckily though, the loh mee turned out pretty good. It came with appropriate condiments of minced garlic with vinegar and sambal, as well as proper ingredients with sliced pork, prawns, hard boiled eggs, kangkung, bean sprouts, and those really thick starchy soup.
I like mine with mee + meehun mix
Overall taste was on point, though I’d probably give Johnny’s version a slight upper hand due to the availability of more ingredient choices, but this one was definitely sufficient to satisfy cravings.
Address: Restaurant DoReMi 123 Jalan PJU 1a/20b Ara Damansara Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.119897, 101.579194
Loh Mee, one of the few hawker dishes that can mean different dishes at different region in Malaysia. Today, we’re going to concentrate on one particularly unique Northern version of loh mee found at EUPE Food Court in Sungai Petani.
Eupe food court Loh Mee stall
For those who aren’t familiar with EUPE, it is this huge food court occupying 28 different shop lots joined together in Sungai Petani, and as you can imagine, it is quite big in size. The modus operandi for most stalls here is by self-service, which can sometimes bit a bit inconvenient, but that’s.. er.. life.
be sure to ask for dark vinegar too
The loh mee stall here specializes only on loh mee, but it does come with three different main ingredients to choose from – loh bak, chicken feet & mushroom, or fried fish.
The queue for this stall is often long (second only to the curry mee stall), but the reward is absolutely worthwhile. The broth is thick and flavorful, with the loh bak giving it that extra omph you don’t find in other versions of loh mee. There’s also half a hard boiled egg, bean sprouts, fish cake slices, and your choice of yellow noodle or meehun, with chili, garlic, fried shallots, and green onion, and a dash of vinegar making up the rest of the ingredient list.
A delicious treat for sure, and all for less than RM 5 per pop.
yeap, there’s loh bak in this loh mee
If you find yourself at Sungai Petani, do give this a try.
Address: Eupe Food Court Jalan Gamelan 5, Taman Ria Jaya, 08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah GPS: 5.652733,100.517535 Hours: 9 am till around lunch time
A short while ago when I posted an Insta story update of Aik Prawn mee, a follower suggested Johnny’s Prawn Mee as a place any prawn mee fan should check out. As a proper fan of prawn mee, I did just that the first chance I had.
Update 2020: Johnny’s is now at Subang Bestari “Yat Yat Khan” kopitiam. Pleae refer to address below
Johnny’s Prawn Mee at Fullhouse Cafe, Taman Subang Murni
Johnny’s is located at Fullhouse Cafe at Taman Subang Murni. If you haven’t heard of this place, well, it is because it’s located somewhere between Shah Alam, Sungai Buloh, and Subang Airport, or aka – nowhere any sane person would go without a solid reason.
Johnny’s Prawn Mee offers three classic Penang hawker dishes – prawn mee, loh mee, and kueh teow soup. Over the past two visits, I tried two of my favorites – loh mee and prawn mee, in that order.
Loh mee because it is very difficult to find a good version of Penang loh mee in Klang Valley, with the only one I am aware of at Choon Prawn Mee in Seapark.
proper Penang style loh mee, Johny’s
The loh mee at Johnny’s comes with all the proper ingredients you’d expect, and a broth that is thick and flavorful. There’s prawns, hard boiled egg, pork slices, and garlic. You can also asks for extra ingredients if you so wish. I went with some pork intestine and was glad that I did.
RM 10 later and I was very, very satisfied. Best Penang loh mee I’ve had outside the island.
A few days later on an off day, I went again for the prawn mee, and ordered the version with extra prawns.
I must admit that I regretted ordering the extras a bit – there were simply way too much prawns! RM 15 for this bowl and I counted over a dozen pretty good size prawns. I’ve never thought it was possible to have too much prawn in prawn mee until now…
Johnny’s Prawn Mee, with extra prawns
Overall the prawn mee, like the loh mee I had before, did not disappoint. The broth had the unmistakable prawn shell sweetness to it, and there’s everything you’d expect – pork slices, prawns, kangkung, bean sprouts. If I had to nitpick, perhaps the only area of improvement here would be the chili paste, it was okay, but it could be slightly more fragrant perhaps.
Anyway, I’ll be back to Johnny’s for sure. Maybe to try the kuih teow soup next?
Earlier this month on the 1st of September 2015, Malaysian Airlines officially welcomed the start of its new company Malaysia Airlines Berhad. As with many of you, my first ever flying experience was with our national carrier, with what has happened in the past 18 months or so, I personally felt that this is a significant step to the right direction for the company to once again proudly graze the Malaysian skyline.
Flying with Malaysia Airlines Berhad on the first day of business
Together with a few other writers, I was invited to take a short day trip with the new MAB to Penang.
To be honest, last I flew back to Penang was almost two decades ago when I took a flight (and was upgraded to business class, my first business class experience!) back to my hometown, down with dengue.
To commemorate the occasion, the customers on this particular flight was given a cute little pilot bear.
Malaysian Airlines Berhad CEO Christoph Mueller on Sept 1st, 2015
The CEO of Malaysian Airlines Berhad, Christoph Mueller, was on location to make sure everything runs smoothly, and to salute the aircraft before we take off, it was a proper sent off, albeit only to a location 45 mins away.
breakfast at 1997 kopitiam, Paya Terubong, Penang
Upon touch down in the Pearl of the Orient, we first took care of the most important business – breakfast!
We headed to Paya Terubong and jumped right into 1997 kopitiam. The restaurant is named after the year in which it was established. To be fair, I’ve never been here (as I left Penang in 1996 for college).
The loh mee I ordered turned out to be more than satisfying, I particularly love the super spicy sambal. and of course the availability of those soft & smooth pork skin didn’t hurt at all. The char kuih teow we shared was pretty decent, and kuih teow soup received positive remarks too. It was a pretty good start of the day.
heading up to Penang Hill
After breakfast, we went up to the highest peak of the island – Penang Hill.
There are two ways to head up to the hill – by the new & improved cable car from Ayer Itam, or use the Number 11 bus (your 2 legs) and walk your way up from the road next to Botanical Garden. Of course, we chose the easy way up.
Not to be outdone by Paris’ love locks, Penang Hill has our very own section of the same thing too, I found it pretty cute. If you didn’t bring your own locks, they’ve got a stall manned with traders who are quite eager to sell you a few models of locks, rather enterprising.
the old cannon’s still there, but the cable car is now much faster
I walked up to the highest peak and made sure to take a photo next to the cannon, reminiscing a similar picture taken at the same spot when I went up there with classmates at the age of 10 or so, time flies man.
Oh, make sure you take the lowest car on the way down, the faster speed makes for quite a pretty thrilling ride, I love it.
the famous Ayer Itam asam laksa
After Penang Hill, it was time for lunch, and since we were already at Ayer Itam, the famous laksa right next to the morning market made for an obvious choice.
I’ve had this laksa from when it was sold for RM 1 per bowl, and glad to say that it still tastes the same as it was from decades ago. Check out this old blog post of the place from almost 10 years back.
Fort Cornwallis, where Sir Francis Light first stepped foot on Penang
Fort Cornwallis was our next destination. This was the place where Sir Francis Light, the founder of modern Penang first set up camp on the island. The historical site isn’t overly interesting to be perfectly honest, but if you’re hungry (unfortunately we weren’t), the mee sotong at the adjacent food court is excellent.
Peranakan Mansion, I’ve never been to this place even though I’m from Penang
We then moved to Peranakan Mansion, a typical mansion for affluent Baba & Nyonya from a century ago. This mansion was super impressive and definitely worth every sen of the entrance fee. There are over 1000 pieces of antique & collectibles on display. I am quite embarrassed to be a Penangite who only stepped foot in this building for the first time.
If you go to Penang, be sure to pay a visit to this place.
Masjid India, the oldest mosque in Penang, and the nasi kandar next to it
Continuing the tour of Georgetown, our Muslim tour-mates took the opportunity to pray at the oldest mosque on the island – Masjid India.
As for the rest of us, it was an excuse for nasi kandar. I had nasi tomato from the Nasi Kandar Masjid stall (next to the famous Nasi Kandar Beratur which opens only at night). As with most nasi kandar in Penang, the curry was thick and flavorful, but it didn’t have as much umph as I had wanted, I guess I expected just a bit more.
Penang road cendol and rojak
For tea break, we headed to Penang road to have some cendol. There are two stalls operating across the road from each other, and to be honest, they both tasted as good as each other. Some may argue that one is “definitely better”, but I can’t tell.
Oh, the rojak is pretty good as well.
a visit to Chew Jetty before we head back to KL
Chew Jetty was our last destination before heading back to the airport. The famous residential jetty now has about half the houses converted to make-shirt shops of sort. In a way it was perhaps slightly less charming? I don’t really know what to make up of it.
My grandparents stay very close to one of these jetties at Weld Quay, so as a kid I used to roam around the different jetties with no shoes, carelessly side stepping open nails and barely secured planks. There was definitely a sense of nostalgia.
Oh, by the way, I also tapao 10 packs of laksa back to KL, and happy to report that airport security did not think it was a bad idea. 😀